Wolff: Hamilton and Russell very much on the same pace

Wolff: Hamilton and Russell very much on the same pace

Toto Wolff has jumped to the defense of the struggling Lewis Hamilton, claiming he is on the pace with teammate George Russell and just need better luck.

Mercedes seven-time Formula 1 Champion, Hamilton, has been clearly struggling to get to grips with his 2022 car, the troublesome W13, compared to Russell who has exceled in his first season at the World Champions team, outscoring his decorated teammate by 34 points after seven races.

With many already writing Hamilton off, Toto Wolff begs to differ, and claims his star driver has been the victim of bad luck so far in 2022.

Speaking after the race Monaco, Wolff was quoted by F1’s official website saying: “I think when you look at the bad spells that Lewis had – I mean look at the race today, stuck again, contact with Esteban [Ocon], stuck behind Fernando [Alonso].

“The red flag yesterday in qualifying and then you know what happens in races before. I think the pendulum will swing so that these unlucky situations will stop with Lewis,” he added.

“He could have been right there and closed on Lando’s [Norris] pit stop window or even fight with George and Lando in the front because that was his pace,” Wolff went on to claim.

Hamilton on the same pace as Russell

“They are very much on the same pace,” was the Austrian’s verdict of his drivers’ relative pace. “One practice the one leads, then the other, and that is great how also they work together to get our car straight, because we need to get that car straight.”

The Mercedes boss claims that, between the highs of Barcelona and the lows of Monaco, and as his team’s performance continues to oscillate, they are firmly the third fastest team on the grid behind Ferrari and Mercedes.

“If the problem is that we can say well that this is a track where it’s going a little bit better like it was in Barcelona or a track that is worse like in Monaco,” Wolff pointed out. “I think we are the third team. We are not second and we are not fourth.

“We have two extremely strong drivers but it’s a huge annoyance for all of us that the gap is about the same,” the Austrian lamented.

“If you are looking at it optimistically it’s five-tenths, if you are looking at it pessimistically it’s more like eight-tenths. And that is clearly for all of us at Mercedes, not acceptable,” Wolff maintained.